Laura Dedicoat – Tour Draft – 0.1%

8 Sep

This is my first draft. Needs a lot of editing and cutting down but had so much material generated from research etc that I really enjoyed the process.


(School bell sound)

The second bell
A starting pistol
Switches off light
Turns keys in engines
As 99.9% of teaching staff begin journeys home

Yet this classroom’s door
Remains pinned wide open.
A novelty “Best Teacher” mug
Still cradles half it’s hot coffee content
Net yet ready to grow cold

As it is this time
That some students are not willing to go home
Or don’t know home

Or realise that this school

Is the closest to safe and home

That they’re lives have ever known

This particular room is unlike any other
It’s carpets have caught and cushioned
More tears and unsure footsteps than most
It’s walls have played host to so many displaced rages
That the plaster has begun to crack
But it will always be there to take it

The desk’s middle draw
a mismatched tale
Hot chocolate sachets lie parallel with chewed HB pencils
Tissues rest on top of blank non school regulation notebooks
Waiting to be given and tattooed in search of answers
All fairly normal
But there is something uniquely important
About a draw that also holds
Travel size toothpaste and brush sets
Stolen from hotel supply cupboards
For those who didn’t quite make it home last night
Who – for whatever reason
Will be grateful for the abundance of cereal bars that also occupy the draw

There is a cuppa soup waiting
For the one responsible for many of the cracks in the plaster
Fists falling harder than words ever did !
Condemned by most staff as residing in a rage poisoned bubble
They are not willing to enter and learn WHY she is troubled
3warnings will not sort it, neither will detention
She needed this new voice to form and stage an intervention

This care driven method truly works, it’s been proven
By each life changing teacher and too many troubled students
Who enter with detention slips,
But understand they’re not being punished
They know that there is more to this
Some will leave with answers, or questions
Depending on what will help
Some leave with bus fare, a hug, or a new found sense of self

But me… I wait
I haven’t done anything wrong … Not really
DETENTION – The only way she can impose her help
Because she know I’ll never ask, even if I need it
In this winter detention
She can somehow prize pearls of emotion
From a shell that’s been too strong for too long
She hold them for me
Because , well, they scare me a bit
And lying in my own hands I’m not sure what to do with it
She assures me they are precious
And promise to explore them
Turn them into something beautiful
Where they are no longer rocks that chip my interior
Split my knuckles and cause my eyes to water
Somehow made beautiful and manageable
By the one who goes beyond what her contract states

I see others leave her room wearing their pearls
Some of them still scuffed, not quite clean
But almost- we’ll work on it – a well kept promise

It’s like only we who have peals of our own, can see the same journey in others
At lunch I exchange a nod of understanding
A smile with the year 11 pearls heavy around his broad neck
In maths I sit next to the girl with the pearl earring

And me…
My once split knuckles clink against a best teacher novelty mug
I hope to one day earn my own
But for now it warms my hands
Before it’s rightful owner re-enters the room
Sits beside me
And proves exactly why
She is far more than any mug
Could EVER do justice.


Definitely needs editing. I want to know if the change in narrator came across. I will be more apparent in staging and line delivery but I tried to go from narrator that could be mistaken for the teacher talking about the room and it’s importance, to a student, recognising the teachers importance. Feedback much appreciated. Looking forward to the editing and development. Cheers 🙂  -x-



3 Responses to “Laura Dedicoat – Tour Draft – 0.1%”

  1. poetclare September 8, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Hi Laura

    A really interesting subject that needs bringing to light. And I really liked the shift in narrator – it’s effective and surprising.

    A few notes, in order:

    Verse one is a really powerful opening. Sets the scene brilliantly.

    Verse two – do we need ‘content’? Seems an oddly unnecessary word… typo: net for not.

    I really like the way you build up a picture of the teacher by talking about the room’s strengths – it’s almost a metaphor for the teacher. Stops it being too sentimental – we get a portrait of them obliquely through the soft carpets and plaster and stolen toiletries and cereal bars.

    Two spellings – their lives (not they’re lives). It’s also drawer, not draw.

    Some nice, subtle rhymes giving momentum – trouble/bubble, help/self etc. You’ve a good ear.

    I do wonder if there’s a bit of confusion in that you say detention won’t help but then they are given detention slips, so it does help in a way (although I understand it’s not a punitive detention)…

    I also felt this section needed a bit of work:

    She hold them for me
    Because , well, they scare me a bit
    And lying in my own hands I’m not sure what to do with it
    She assures me they are precious
    And promise to explore them
    Turn them into something beautiful
    Where they are no longer rocks that chip my interior
    Split my knuckles and cause my eyes to water

    Grammar-wise – should it be ‘holds them’? Should it be ‘I’m not sure what to do with them’? And ‘promises to explore them’?

    Also, pearls ARE beautiful, why would she promise to turn them into something beautiful? How can pearls be rocks that chip your interior when they are silky and round? The metaphor gets a bit muddled here…

    I like the idea of a secret club though, where those whose been helped can see eachothers’ scuffed pearls – a strange, beautiful image.
    And I like the framing device of the mug, and the way it’s used to show the speaker might be a teacher herself one day.

    So, a very thought-provoking piece of work overall. Hope that’s useful, do ask if you’ve any more questions,

    Best Clare x

  2. mouthypoets September 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi Clare
    Thank you very much for your comments, they are extremely helpful. Sorry about the typos, I had to type it up on my phone so not the most ideal.

    I will definitely work on unpicking the metaphor because it is like I can see the image in my head but didn’t communicate it well. It’s like emotions were originally more like rocks inside causing more damage. But through conversations with the teacher they are discovered and made into pearls. I realise this transition might not make sense because that isn’t how pearls are made so I will work on the clarity of this.

    The section you highlight is muddled so I will also look at that. But I’m glad the story of the piece is clear and makes sense. I hope to work on effective staging of this.

    My only question really would be if it is too long ?? I think it will be cut back slightly when I look for unnecessary words but should I be cutting out any sections to shorten the piece more drastically ??

    Thank you for you time and feedback
    Laura D

  3. rebeccaverses March 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on rebeccaverses.

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